Steven Nadler of the University of Wisconsin gives a lecture re. Spinoza on religion:
Watch this on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIYOC6RQ_LY
Around 6 minutes in, he discusses the claim that Spinoza is a pantheist. According to Nadler, there’s no room in Spinoza’s viewpoint for worshipful awe of nature; these are just a path to the irrational, harmful passions of hope and fear. Instead, we engage nature through scientific study; this is our means of communing with it.
Towards the end, he makes the point (from the Euthyphro; I think this maybe came up in our Camus episode but am not sure) that even if there’s a god issuing commands, that won’t be sufficient to generate morality, i.e. true normativity. It would just mean that a powerful force is commanding us to do something, leaving open the question whether that force or those commands are actually right.
The 2nd part of the video, i.e. the continuation of what I’ve posted here, gets more into his ethics, which will provide you with good preparation for our second discussion (episode 25, not yet posted) on Spinoza.